1946 Kelmar, Electric Pow'r House Ferris Wheel in Original Box

1946 Kelmar, Electric Pow'r House Ferris Wheel in Original Box

Here's one of the most unusual finds I've made in the past several years. It's an electric motor driven, heavy gauge pressed steel Ferris wheel. Manufactured by Kelmar, Mikwaukee, WI. I had never heard of the company before. The toy is actually a construction kit with nuts and bolts very similar to Gilberts, Erector Sets. 

Using the 47 brightly enameled pressed steel parts you could build a 21" tall electric Ferris wheel. In contrast a tin litho Chein Ferris Wheel is 16½" tall. The toy was wired for electricity, but it's not battery operated. It ran using an electric motor and transformer which had to be purchased separately. 

Every single part has never been removed from the original box. The parts were for the most part, fitted into specific die cut holes made in the insert. My photo's show only the first layer. There's a completely different second layer underneath the first. The parts were laid symmetrically into the insert. String kept the blue pieces in the center together. Thick wads of a cotton like material were wedged between parts so they wouldn't scratch. These wads are all still in place. Other parts were taped into place, or tabbed with metal ribbon. The tape and ribbon are all original and all still in place.

Kelmar promoted their product by creating their own mascot and their own motto. The mascot, a little wiry guy bathed in yellow light was called "Watts N' Volts". Their motto, "toys for boys from 6 to 60". 

Also included are two oblong, blue "Watts N' Volts" decals. These were supposed to be applied to the exterior sides of both red upright support. Another set of six animal decals was provided. One each would be applied to the back of each Ferris Wheel bench seat. It also contains a multipage fold-out brochure. It's here that you find out that the motor kit cost an additional $6.95. This was definitely not an inexpensive toy. And lastly it contains the original 34" x 22" set of instructions. 

The box cover is just phenomenal. It features a highly detailed panel wide illustration in full color. It shows a carnival scene with the Ferris Wheel displayed prominently in front. Circus tents and a merry go round are in the background. In front you'll see Watts N Volts. But check out the people. If you look closer you'll see that many are in U.S. military uniform. Although the toy was released in 1946, it was probably designed while WWII was still raging. The Navy and Army were represented. It's also neat that you can make out each individual expression on the faces of the potential customers. You can even read the signs hanging from the tents. The side aprons were elaborately designed with gold scrollwork along the top and bottom edges on all four sides. The company name and address were also included. It's one of the most detailed toy boxes I've seen. 

Size: Box 16¼" x 12½" x 2". Weight 4½" pounds. Ferris wheel 21" assembled.

Sold: Nov. 2006

Price Sold: $ 169


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Subject: 1946 Kelmar, Electric Pow'r House Ferris Wheel in Original Box

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